Pelle apologises for penalty miss after Italy exit Euro 2016

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The Southampton forward has said sorry for his spot-kick and also explained his antics by insisting he was simply trying to deceive Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

Italy striker Graziano Pelle has apologised for his penalty miss in the quarter-final shootout defeat to Germany at Euro 2016 on Saturday.

The Southampton attacker was one of four Italians to miss from the spot, the game having ended 1-1 after 120 minutes, with Simone Zaza, Leonardo Bonucci and Matteo Darmian also failing to find the net.

Pelle was heavily criticised for his antics ahead of his penalty, making a Panenka-gesture toward Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, and he has now apologised for his miss.

"It is not important to me now that it was a good tournament for Italy overall. I am very sad and I would like to apologise to all of Italy. I want to say sorry to my team-mates, to the coach, to the fans and to anyone else who wished me the best," Pelle told reporters.

"I had just one job and that was to score the penalty. I would have become a phenomenon had I done that. I was a nobody when I arrived at the Euros and I am still a nobody now. But I have always given my all for the jersey of Italy.

"I did not want to disrespect Neuer. I wanted to deceive him. I saw that he dived before the penalty takers had hit their shot and he seemed to be flying to the corners. I tried to make him stay in the middle of his goal a bit longer by making the Panenka-gesture."

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